Vrindavan, 2018.03.10 (VT) An organization has begun capturing monkeys from the streets of Vrindavan to relocating them in forested areas in Jaipur and Haryana. The Municipality has given permission to MRC to relocate the monkeys and 65 monkeys have already been transferred.
The president of MRC, Dr Abhishek Sharma, said in the first phase of the project, they are aiming to relocate 300 monkeys.
The numbers of monkeys on Vrindavan’s streets has been steadily increasing and with the increase in numbers, the monkeys learn how to attack in gangs. Apart from biting and scratching, they are adept in stealing eyeglasses, purses and phones.
During trials, monkey relocation was not found to be successful as the relocated monkeys managed to return. There are several problems with relocation as a solution to the monkey problem.
Monkeys have close ties to their family members so will be distressed at becoming separated. Urban monkeys are also likely to have extreme difficulty surviving in the forest.
According to the Forest Department of Himachal Pradesh, “…relocating monkeys into the territory of existing troops leads to territorial fights that result in the death of those “relocated” and serious injury or even death to members of the resident troop. Another important aspect of this close society is the bond that exists between the troop members. This bond reflects the close bond of human families and friends and the loss of a close troop member can be as devastating to them as a loss of one of our friends or family members.”
Monkey relocation is also unlikely to have long term benefits as due to rapid breeding rates, monkey numbers are likely to return to previous levels shortly after the relocation program ends. Sterilization is thought to be a more humane and long term solution to the problem. A sterilization program has been successfully conducted by the Himachal Pradesh Forest Department since 2006.
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